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Nation ramps up investment to bolster momentum

China Daily | Updated: 2022-04-12 09:30
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The multi-functional excavators by Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group. [Photo provided to]

BEIJING-For excavator operators in China, the past few months were rather busy, with the industrial index showing a steady rise in their working time.

The tight-working schedules of these operators mirrored the growth of fixed investment in the country. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's fixed-asset investment, a key engine driving growth, expanded 12.2 percent year-on-year in the first two months.

Commenting on this upbeat reading, NBS spokesperson Fu Linghui said that the rise in investment was achieved with efforts from related departments and local governments.

Major project support has been scaled up nationwide per the instructions of the tone-setting annual Central Economic Work Conference in December, Fu said.

In the fourth quarter, China issued 1.2 trillion yuan ($188.5 billion) of special local government bonds and front-loaded 1.46 trillion yuan of a 2022 special bonds quota.

Funds raised through this channel have expanded effective investment, generating more economic activities and boosting growth.

Investment in high-tech industries, for instance, gained 34.4 percent from a year ago during the first two months, maintaining its relatively fast growth pace.

Among the investment projects is an integrated national big-data system project. This megaproject, launched in February, involves establishing eight national computing hubs in the country, plus 10 national data center clusters.

As one of the designated computing hubs, southwestern Guizhou province has decided to upgrade its digital infrastructure and plans to spend about 17 billion yuan on the project this year.

Li Chengjian, a researcher from the Development Research Center of the State Council, believes that new drivers are vital forces sustaining economic recovery. Li said that increased investment in high-tech industries and other innovative sectors is conducive to forging a new competitive edge for the country.

Rather than using funds raised in an undifferentiated manner, China has made improving people's well-being an investment priority, listing the renovation of old urban communities, the building of underground utility tunnels and other tasks as the investment focus for 2022.

Official data showed that during the January-February period, funds flowing into the education and health sectors rose 19.8 percent and 29.3 percent year-on-year, respectively.

For 2022, special government bonds are expected to remain essential to stabilize investment and promote growth in China. According to this year's government work report, the country plans to issue a total of 3.65 trillion yuan in special-purpose bonds for local governments in 2022.

Looking forward, Fu said that the country will improve its investment efficacy. Funds should be leveraged in a way that could stabilize current investment and bring long-term benefits, he said.

Despite uncertainties clouding global growth, NBS chief statistician Luo Yifei is upbeat about China's investment growth outlook. As policies aimed at stabilizing growth and investment take effect, this investment will sustain sound growth momentum, Luo said.


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